Pets, Vets and Startup Threats
Episode 17
September 1, 2020

Pets, Vets and Startup Threats

With Brandon Werber, Founder & CEO of Airvet

Brandon Werber is the Founder and CEO of Airvet. Airvet is a telehealth platform that connects pet owners with veterinarians live and on-demand through video and chat anytime, anywhere. With thousands of veterinarians on the platform, Airvet is on a mission to make pet care more accessible to pet owners across the country. In this episode, Brandon shares with us his entrepreneurial journey from growing up in LA to learning some hard lessons from his first failed startup, to building Airvet, and recently closing a $14 million Series A round during a global pandemic.

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In This Episode You’ll Hear About:

  • Why growing up with a celebrity veterinarian father in LA in what neighbors called “The Dr. Dolittle House” set Brandon up to understand the needs of pet owners
  • How his raging case of ADHD as a kid helped him learn to think outside of the box, learn how to assess his own abilities, and work with others who were better than him in areas of weakness
  • How he, like many kids who grow up near Hollywood, went to work in the entertainment industry after college, working at Fox and CAA, which taught him humility and attention to detail
  • How his first business start-up, Lootsie, was full of lessons learned, but only made it to year five or six before it was decided to close it down
  • How learning to know when you shouldn’t be, and when you should be, drinking your own Kool-Aid is critical as a Founder and CEO and how to find that balance
  • Why learning to fire yourself, as a CEO, from specific roles and hiring others who are better than you in those roles will lead to an empowered and efficient team with a collaborative culture
  • Why it is imperative that a Founder/CEO is honest with himself/herself about whether or not the company is working and how to handle it when the company doesn’t work out
  • How gratitude and the encouragement of his support system helped him work through a failed business and gave him the confidence to take the step towards the next company, Airvet
  • How Brandon  realized that pet owners have a need that was not being met in many cases and how he could do something to help
  • How COVID actually led to a perfect opportunity for Airvet and also a pretty breezy fundraising round that closed with $14 million 

To Find Out More: 


“Saying ‘no’ is a learned skill and it's hard to do because there's nothing more important as an entrepreneur than being focused. And being focused means a lot of no.”

“There's a lot of problems in entrepreneurship with mental health. And I think a lot of that has to do with the inability to prioritize and time management.”

“There's so much that can be said about humility. And I think as you craft and fine-tune your skillset, knowing when you're drinking your Kool-Aid, when to sell and when not to sell.”

“One of the best skills that a CEO can have is getting excited around firing yourself from each one of those roles and hiring people better than you at that and smarter than you at that, at those particular areas.”

“If you're the best person on your team, you have not done yourself a service. If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room.”

“Humility is one of the best skills a CEO can have.”

“But you ask yourself, am I continuing because I so believe in our mission or am I too proud and do I have too much ego to allow myself to move on to the next adventure and tell people it didn't work out?’”

“Because as lonely as it is for me, if you have a family that doesn't get to interact with you or see you, but yet they live in the same house, it's really lonely for them too. And we don't realize often how much we need them.”

“You have to make sure you prioritize what you're not willing to sacrifice and stay true to that.”

“Stepping out of myself and my ego and my guilt and all of that and seeing the support system that I'd built and the people that still believed in me is what got me the confidence and excitement back to go quickly do the next thing and take that leap of faith again.”

“So much of being an entrepreneur is being willing to eat enough dirt until your dirt becomes caviar.”

“The wisdom that I'd impart on any future or current founder is not to forget your why and stay true to that because it's everything.”

“Passion alone is not enough. You also have to look and be honest brutally with yourself.”

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